Minimalism

Jordan West, Reporter

Minimalism is becoming a more popular trend as the years go on. This lifestyle is all about living with only things you need. People who practice this are free from the desire to buy and gather more and instead find happiness in relationships and experiences. Everyone’s definition of minimalism is different. It depends on what you want to focus on. 

There are a lot of minimalist blogs out there where you can read all about the lifestyle. One of the more popular minimalist blogs is The Minimalist created by Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus. In their blog you can find everything from what they do to minimize their life to what you should do to minimize your life. Their blog is all about sharing their journey and helping you on yours. 

One of their more popular essays in his blog is about how Joshua Fields Milburn quit his job. The reason behind quitting his job is that he simply was not happy. He didn’t enjoy living the typical office lifestyle. So, he quit. He has a plan to still make money, because money is essential, but he’s making the money to live – not to work. This is an example of how minimalism is not solely getting rid of physical objects, as many would assume. 

Some may wonder, why is minimalism becoming popular? One reason is concern for the environment. Consuming less products means using less of the earth’s natural resources. Personal debt is another reason, people are choosing to buy less and save more. Also, computing advances which have allowed us to get rid of unnecessary electronics. They are now available in just one device. Another reason is the benefits, which are desired. Less stress, less distraction, more freedom, and more time. And most important, the realization that there’s more to life than possessions. The consuming of physical objects isn’t fulfilling people’s happiness the way they thought it would. 

Of course, with everything in life, there’s people that are for it and people that are against it. Kimberly Button has a blog called Get Green Be Well which is not about minimalism because she hates minimalism. She has an essay in her blog titled “Why I Hate Minimalism” which pretty much explains what it’s about in the title. Basically, she attempted the minimalist lifestyle with her husband and hated it. They started by selling their house and buying an RV to live in. They sold a lot of their belongings also. It wasn’t everything she had hoped and dreamed it would be. Her list on what is bad about minimalism consists of giving away things that can never be replaced, not being able to take advantage of sales or good deals because you have no room for new items, shopping and decorating are activities that she finds fun, if all family members do not consent to the lifestyle there is a lot of stress and conflict, and picking up and moving whenever you want results in switching jobs, not having a steady job or constantly changing housing which can impact your finances. Minimalism was simply just not right for her and her family. The things that she was getting rid of weren’t the things causing her stress. This does not mean that minimalism isn’t a valid lifestyle. 

A new upcoming trend is the “capsule wardrobe” which is basically a small wardrobe made of some very versatile pieces that you love. Each season, you clean out your closet except for a few pieces. You can shop for new pieces each season or keep the same. Anywhere around 30-40 items in the normal for the capsule wardrobe. This wardrobe goes along with the minimalism standards of more time, money, and energy for things you really love rather than buying clothes. It allows you to only have pieces that you love in your wardrobe and would wear anytime. Some examples of basic staples to have in your capsule wardrobe are a trench coat, white tank top, blazer, white blouse, denim jacket, printed sundress, denim shorts, pointy-toe pumps, slip dress, little back dress, black ankle boots, white sneakers, and a midi skirt. 

There is a popular series on Netflix called Tidying Up with Marie Kondo that came out in 2019. It shows Marie Kondo helping others declutter and organize their homes. She doesn’t consider herself a minimalist because she encourages living with all items one truly cherishes, while minimalism focuses on living with less. They’re both similar concepts. 

Tidying up… Decluttering… Organizing… Are these concepts reminding you of anything? After all, it is officially spring time. Spring cleaning is upon us. Whether your mom or dad forces you to clean the house, or you willingly tidy up, we all usually go through it. To make the inevitable easier, here are some tips and tricks. First off, make a schedule of where to start and what areas need cleaning the most. Second, get your minimalist mindset going and declutter your home. This will keep you organized and more efficient. Third, always clean your home from top to bottom. Start with ceilings and fans first. Fourth tip, make sure you have a vacuum that is prepared to take on this task. Fifth, think about DIY-ing some cleaning products. They can work just as well and will create less waste. Last, let spring cleaning set a new tone for the warm weather coming. Transform your rooms to be light and fresh for spring. 

The most important thing to remember when thinking about a minimalist lifestyle, a capsule wardrobe, or even just spring cleaning, is to only do it if it makes you happy. No one is forcing you to make these changes in your life, unless your mom is making you spring clean. If the clutter in your house is stressing you out, declutter it. If you have too many clothes that you don’t wear and don’t want, get rid of them. Do what makes you happy and what will bring you peace in life.